CSA-32306 Designing Sustainable Cropping Systems

Code last year: (CWE-32806)


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
One day excursion8
Practical intensively supervised32
Course coordinator(s)drs. CA Langeveld
dr. ir. PAJ van Oort
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. J Vos
dr. ir. W van Ieperen
drs. CA Langeveld
dr. P Reidsma
dr. J Harbinson
prof. dr. ir. MK van Ittersum
dr. ir. PAJ van Oort
prof. dr. HB Meinke
dr. GH Buck-Sorlin
dr. JB Evers
drs. MJ Bakker
Examiner(s)prof. dr. HB Meinke
dr. ir. W van Ieperen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

NEM-10306, CSA-11306, NEM-10806, HPC-21306, CSA-20306


Many solutions for our global problems will be plant-based. This ranges from feeding and clothing an ever increasing world population, to providing essential compounds for medical or industrial purposes to generating energy. Sustainable plant-based solutions require that environmental costs of plant production and processing are kept low while the ecosystems services of plant production systems are maximised. Students will learn the basic design principles of simulation models from the very simple to the complex. The lecture will highlight the importance of connecting disciplines and scales, thereby generating new insights and knowledge. In this module students will be exposed to a range of systems of analytical approaches and techniques. Each lecture and associated tutorials will cover specific cases that differ strongly in their disciplinary connectivity and integration levels. In the tutorials, students will practice with their own simulation modules and apply them. The transdisciplinary nature of modelling and the relevance of the in silico approach to solving real world problems will be highlighted.

Learning outcomes:

After this course students will be able to: - quantitatively analyse the basic physical and physiological processes taking place in a plant/crop within its environment by describing these interactions via a mathematical model;
- outline how crop growth models can be used to capture and integrate agronomic knowledge;
- recognise differences in modelling approaches and identify the most suitable approach for a given practical or scientific problem;
- explain the (potential) role of models and modelling in the field of plant sciences in relation to research, design, management and policy making;
- demonstrated their ability to understand G x E x M interactions and show knowledge of the quantitative tools required.


Studying literature, attending lectures, how-to tutorials and practical assignments.


Written exam.


A detailed study guide and literature are provided at the start of the course.

Restricted Optional for: MPSPlant SciencesMScA: Crop Science6MO
MPSPlant SciencesMScC: Natural Resource Management6MO
MPSPlant SciencesMScB: Greenhouse Horticulture6MO
MCLClimate StudiesMSc6MO